Beef Stroganoff


I tried so many recipes for Beef Stroganoff that turned out badly that I decided that I must just not like it. But what is there not to like: beef in a creamy sauce that has slowly simmered all day, smelling wonderful, only to taste a gluey mess that was too salty by far, thanks to the inevitable use of a package of onion soup mix. Then a magazine I subscribe to, called Cooks Country ( a more down home version of Cook’s Illustrated, as seen on PBS), broke down the ingredients in a package of onion soup mix to make it more natural and far less salty. So I tried the concoction in my next batch and it turned out GREAT! Now I use the substitution whenever onion soup mix is called for , usually to wonderful results. This magazine is for real foodies, who enjoy the whys and wherefores of a recipe, and how it came to fruition, how they tested the recipe 50 times before printing it. The magazine also does not accept advertizing and does reviews on various kitchen implements and ingredients giving them star ratings. Ok, enough about my bed time reading.

Mix to replace onion soup mix

3 T cornstarch

4 t onion powder

2 t brown sugar

1 t garlic salt

1 t instant espresso powder (can be bought either at The Bakers or Whole Foods)

1 t dried thyme


3 lbs stew beef

3 T oil

1 C red wine (it all cooks out!)

2-10 oz cream of mushroom soup

1 C sour cream

1. Brown the meat in the oil, transfer to slow cooker, and sprinkle with the special mix, turning to coat it all.

2. Add the red wine to the pan to deglaze (scrape up all the browned bits), mix in the soup and pour over the meat. Cover and cook on high 3-3 1/2  hours, or on low 6-7  hours. Stir in the sour cream and serve over noodles.


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